Rescue Tails / Black Friday

Our minds are still on Thanksgiving this week. Even with all the food, friends, family and festivities, “Black Friday” keeps coming up in our thoughts synonymous with the Thanksgiving Holiday. For most, Black Friday means shopping for deals in stores and online. Millions of people scour the shops for sales for themselves, or to stash away as gifts. However; in our animal focused minds, Black Friday brings attention to the disproportionate amount of animals in shelters that simply have black fur.

The ASPCA put out a study in the early 2000’s called “Black Dog Syndrome” or BDS for short. It was described as a phenomenon that dark-coated pets are overlooked most of the time by adopters in favor of animals with lighter fur hues. Observed by shelters and rescue groups across the world, BDS is an issue negatively affecting the adoption rates of black or darker toned pets. In addition to dark coated dogs spending a longer length of time in shelters in comparison to their lighter or more patterned counterparts, it was observed that this translated to cats as well.

Although the exact reasoning behind it is unclear, there are many theories. One is that black coated dogs are portrayed in the media as being “scary.” These are the big, guard dogs that come hurtling out of the dark bearing their teeth. For cats, it’s possible that the stigma behind black cats relates back to superstitions on these felines being “unlucky.”

Regardless, we watch it in real life every time we have a litter of kittens. Most recently, we had a litter of 3 kittens named Ian, Ike and Irma, rescued during Hurricane Ian from under a rock in Marathon. Two of the kittens were black, and one was black and white. The little kittens were fostered for a month until they were old enough to be spayed/neutered and placed for adoption. These kittens are nearly identical in terms of personality as they are siblings brought up in the same environment. Once ready for adoption, it was Ian, the black and white kitten who was quickly adopted. Ike and Irma are still at the shelter as we write to you today, hoping for a family of their own.

So the next time you visit our Key West or Marathon Campuses we hope the term “Black Friday” stays in your mind as you search for your furrever companion. Perhaps you can spend a little more time with some of our personable black cats, or ask to meet the dark colored dog. Of course, we firmly believe that every animal is an individual, and we want to make the best lifelong match when you choose your next furry friend. That’s why our compassionate and trained adoption counselors are here to help you. You can view all of our adoptable animals at both Campuses, and complete an online adoption questionnaire on our website at or stop by and visit us. We have so many wonderful animals just waiting to meet you.

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